Amex cutting merchant fees for small businesses

American Express is reducing the fees it charges small businesses in Australia that accept the Amex card. Fee reductions will vary by business, with most small merchants to be charged a rate of less than two per cent of transaction value by the end of 2017.

The company says the move is aimed at doubling its small-business footprint in this country, which would represent the biggest expansion to its retailer network since it arrived in Australia in 1954.

Claiming to be deepening its commitment to merchants and card members, Amex says it is going through a period of growth in Australia and its focus in the next 12 to 24 months is significantly to expand the number of places – in particular, to double the number of small merchants – that accept the card.

“We want to expand the number of businesses that accept American Express and provide card members with more of options of places to use their cards,” a spokesperson said. “The new lower pricing is helping us meet this need. These fee reductions will help these businesses attract more high-value customers. Today American Express card members on average spend 92 per cent more than other cardholders, they are more loyal and have lower default payments.”

Amex has also announced a partnership with Commonwealth Bank that it says could add up to 100,000 new Amex-card-accepting businesses to its network in the next 12 months. CBA’s ‘Simple Merchant Plan’ offers a single package for all payment options for the bank’s small-business customers.

Amex is set to roll out these changes from July 30.

To attract more high-value customers to Amex merchants, the company says it is also increasing its investment in marketing programs such as Shop Small, Amex Offers, #NowTakesAmex and Business Insights.

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